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Let’s start with a question: “When should we start to develop packaging for our new products?” Packaging is often an afterthought and is given little time to develop.  Product development teams slave over every little detail of the product itself, and as the launch date sneaks up, packaging for the product gets rushed.  Sound familiar?

In this scenario, the product team didn’t help the future success of the product.  There are many of us who understand the value of good packaging and what it takes to create, but for those who don’t, their product is at the mercy of their ignorance.  According to Marty Neumeier in his book The Brand Gap, “A retail package is the last and best chance to make a sale.”  If this statement is true, then significant time and effort should be put into the packaging of the product.

Here is a list of some benefits for developing packaging with the product:

  • Product features are revealed, not hidden.
  • Packaging can be designed for dual purpose (i.e. carry case, protector for future use, etc.)
  • Market studies on existing product packaging can be done ahead of time.
  • Ways to differentiate the new product from its competitors.
  • Speed to Market:  packaging is developed during product development resulting in less time after product development is completed.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the consumer…If we’re holding two very similar products from two different manufacturers, one in each hand, what will help us to make our decision on which one to buy? That’s right…the one that communicated the best value.

Get the right people involved early so that packaging designs that catch the attention of the consumer can be created.  You don’t need to have all the answers yourself; you just need to call those who do.

For additional information or questions, contact Brian Pankratz at Mercury Plastics, Inc. (bpankratz@mercuryplasticsinc.com)

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